|photo courtesy of Hunter Canning|
The entire ensemble was stellar. They each had their moments of glory and played well together. Of course, there were some standouts. The biggest being Jake Lasser. Despite the title, the focus was truly all on Lasser's Alexis. Lasser was captivating with his delicacy and ability to turn his character into a male ingénue. You rooted for him while you felt his pain with him. Chris Tyler seemed at ease as Vera. Tyler showed the strength of Vera, through calculated hysterics, while being able to add some subtle sarcasm in his physicality. Tyler's ability to make you forget he was in drag worked tremendously in the production's favor. John Hume as Prince Paul brought a new level of sinister evil genius. His stealthy lurking in the shadows throughout the play added a wonderful heightened element to the "big brother is watching" theme. Salty Brine's hilarity as the affected Baron Raff is the high point in comic relief while Daniel DeStafano's power and masculinity as Kotemkin was the perfect polar within the play. Michael Axelrod, John Graham, and Dane Jerabek as the Nihilist trio allowed for some of the best moments in the ensemble.
With an all male cast tackling sexuality in an oppressed masculine world of tyranny, we're reminded no matter what, we're all the same whether you agree or not. The simplicity of this production allowed for some brilliant performances. If you missed this play, cross your fingers it returns soon. It’s good.